It’s easy to be eco-friendly

Carver Hix ’25

Photo by Akil Mazumder on Pexels.com

Teenagers often believe they can do little to promote a sustainable environment. While this reasoning is somewhat accurate because teens are not yet fully independent, there are many ways teens in their daily lives can promote sustainability at little or no cost.

One of the easiest ways to promote sustainability is to conserve energy by unplugging chargers. Many chargers are left in the wall throughout the day and night, even going unused for hours at a time. Even if there is no device attached to the charger, it is still consuming energy. By charging phones overnight (which many teens already do) and unplugging them while away at school, little energy is saved, but when the number of chargers per person is increased and thousands of others do the same, a large amount of energy is being saved.

Another way for teens to be sustainable is by limiting the foods they eat that consume the most energy to produce. It is difficult to go on a plant-based diet as a teenager and a serious commitment, but a plant-based diet is not the only method to eat more sustainably. Although meats like chicken and fish are not 100% green friendly, they are certainly a more environmentally friendly alternative to red meat, whose production process is the largest greenhouse gas emitter. Sage Dining at Strake Jesuit has many different options in their menu, providing many daily non-meat options, daily chicken options, and common fish options for lunch. By decreasing your consumption of red meat, even if just by one meal a week, you are not only contributing a smaller environmental footprint (because of the reduction in greenhouse gases created to produce the meat), you are aso saving water and reducing land use.

Lastly, an effective way to be more green is to take advantage of electronic work and note options. Jesuit includes their textbooks and assigns a majority of work online, almost eliminating the use of paper products in our day-to-day curriculum, but in many classes notes are required or recommended to be taken. Students are provided with IPads and numerous apps to take typed or written notes. Although some students take advantage of these technological opportunities, many students at Jesuit and other schools across the country use notebooks and paper to take notes. Although this may be helpful to some students, the app Notability allows note taking and documentation by hand without using notebooks or papers. By taking notes and doing other forms of documentation electronically, students not only lower their environmental impact relating to deforestation but also aid in keeping or restoring biodiversity in areas susceptible to deforestation to produce paper.

It’s easier than you might think to act green.